Democrats in the House of Representatives finally passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill late Friday night. The long-awaited vote sends the legislation, which the Senate passed in August, to President Biden’s desk after weeks of delays and attempts to leverage the infrastructure bill in order to get the $2 trillion Build Back Better social-welfare and climate-spending bill passed in the House. Though President Biden personally pushed the Democratic caucus on Friday to vote on both BIF and BBB, the latter was held back after a handful of moderate House Democrats reportedly withheld their support until a nonpartisan analysis of the tax and spending bill’s price tag could be completed. House Democrats began debating BBB, but did not finalize it amid the impasse.
The House voted 228 to 206 to pass the infrastructure bill, which represents half of President Biden’s current legislative agenda. Though House GOP leadership opposed the legislation, 13 Republicans joined almost all Democrats in support of the sweeping bill, which will over the course of a decade put $550 billion into repairing or replacing roads, bridges, and water-supply infrastructure, modernizing the country’s power grid, expanding internet access, and investing in rail transportation, along with other public-works improvements — in all 50 states. The bill also directs $50 billion to help parts of the country prepare for devastating emergencies brought on by climate change, as well as $7.5 billion to expand America’s network of charging stations for electric vehicles.